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“Christmas pantomime .. Excellent entertainment for the family”
Review of Princess Theatre

Princess Theatre
Ranked #14 of 62 things to do in Torquay
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Princess Theatre first opened it’s doors on Wednesday 7 June 1961. Top of the bill on the opening night were the late, great Tommy Cooper and the legendary Morecombe and Wise.The theatre was built by Torbay Council as the main feature of the redevelopment of the Princess Gardens area on Torquay seafront. The theatre replaced a marquee which was erected annually to house light entertainment. The theatre is located on the seafront and boasts panoramic views across Torbay where, weather permitting, you can see the towns of Brixham & Paignton. The theatre is still council owned and was originally lease managed to Apollo Leisure in 1991. Apollo Leisure was then bought out by SFX, which was then acquired by Clear Channel Entertainment. In 2005 Clear Channel span off the entertainment arm of its business and Live Nation was born. In 2009 Live Nation put their theatre division up for sale and at the end of the year a successful sale went through with the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG). ATG are the current managers of the theatre. The Princess Theatre is Torbay’s largest touring venue with a seating capacity of 1,491. The theatre is a touring house only and has a variety of independent production companies visiting the theatre. It has played host to a wide variety of entertainment, including opera, ballet, concerts, wrestling, comedy, pantomime, ice shows & West End musicals. Theatres in seaside resorts are traditionally known for their annual Summer Season consisting of light entertainment and family variety shows, and Torquay is no exception. In the past the Princess Theatre saw the Summer Season lasting 22 weeks of the year and artistes such as Jim Davidson, Jethro and Jimmy Cricket to name but a few, made regular appearances. Today, the Summer Season is a somewhat shorter affair and realistically lasts about 6 weeks. A traditional summer line up can still be found in our programming with one night shows making up the summer diary. Although the Summer Season was historically the main focal point of the diary it is not the case today. There is no longer an “in season” time frame and we have regular visits throughout the year with West End musicals, such as Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Chicago, Starlight Express, Rocky Horror, CATS, Sunny Afternoon and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as well as concerts, comedians, mediums and finishing the year with a traditional pantomime. . The theatre stages and supports local amateur societies with their performances and endures in the local community, like hosting our award-winning 'Natvitys'. In 1998 an extension was built onto the side of the theatre to house Breezes cafe bar, which is open to public throughout the year, irrespective of any ‘dark’ period in the theatre. Breezes caters for all; locals & tourists as well as patrons of the theatre. When the theatre is open for a show Breezes’ two bars work alongside the Princess Theatre bar to ensure no customer goes without! The top of Breezes also has a function suite, which can be used for meetings, press functions, parties and private hire. The view from the function suite and upper deck is fabulous, as it is the best viewing point in which to see the full splendour of Torbay.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed January 3, 2013

My family loved going to the pantomime production at the Torquay theatre (Cinderella).
Just 3 minutes walk from our favourite hotel (Southbank hotel, see my other review!), we took a leisurely stroll along the beach, and took in the Show. We then continued our walk by another 3 minutes, and had a lovely supper at the harbour. The price, whilst not cheap, compared favourably with other Christmas pantomimes, and it was definitely as slick and professional as any we have seen? I would definitely recommend the pantomime, and my wife and I will be looking for other shows at the theatre, the next time we are in Torquay.

Thank KarlYau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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418 - 422 of 496 reviews

Reviewed December 31, 2012

This trip was a last minute decision to take my nan to the panto and it was an enjoyable experience. There was a small group of us ranging from age 5-80 and we all enjoyed the show. We had a disables persons with us. We had to wait a while for them to open the disabled door however the gentleman that did was very polite and welcoming and showed us to our seats. The theatre is very clean. We were sat on the far left hand side (facing the stage) and some of our view was blocked but this could not be prevented due to our positioning. The show was enjoyable with modern elements and a slight change to the original story.The cast were very engaging with the audience. I would reccomend. I was a bit dissapointed about the food on offer, it was only sweets and we hadnt eaten all day so wanted something savoury but nothing was on offer. Just beware of parking with a disabled persons. The 2 disabled spaces were taken so i parked behind them with the disabled badge and got a parking ticket as i was unaware about parking on yellow lines that go up the curb.

Thank SamLittle92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Great show, lots of laughs. Theatre in a good location and has bar and restaurant open during the day...

Thank ajwalford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2012

We went to see the ELO Experience and it was the first time we had been to this theatre. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. The theatre was comfortable but looking a bit tired inside.

Thank dottiepeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2012

We visited Greenway - the holiday home of Agatha Christie - during our stay in South Devon in September and discovered it was the 'Agatha Christie week' in Torquay.

So we then went ahead and booked an afternoon performance of 'Murder on the Nile' at the Princess Theatre.

The cast were very good but we were disappointed to hear before the play started that the star - Kate O'Mara - was 'indisposed'.

The theatre has certainly seen better days.

Thank PrestburyLad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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